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Sally Pearson storms to 100m hurdles victory

13 Août 2017

Pearson, world champion in 2011 and Olympic gold medallist in 2012, missed the last two seasons through hamstring and achilles injuries and a badly broken wrist but blasted back to win in 12.59 seconds, screaming "oh my God" repeatedly after crossing the line.

Australia's Sally Pearson completed one of the great sporting comebacks when she overcame two years of injury agony to win the world 100 metres hurdles title at the age of 30 on Saturday. The American was second in 12.63secs, with Germany's Pamela Dutkiewcz claiming bronze in 12.72s.

World record holder Kendra Harrison took the early lead, but Pearson had the American covered by the second hurdle.

"Far out, that was bloody hard", gasped Pearson, who became only the fourth woman to win the world title a few times. But when she clocked 12.48 seconds in the London Diamond League last month - her fastest time for five years - she realized she was in medal-contending form. "I'm so exhausted but I'm sure it will sink in soon", Pearson said.

"I knew that I could (coach myself), I wasn't anxious about writing the program out, I knew what I could and couldn't handle, it was just a matter of "am I going to do it right?"

"It's been a long journey back from injury, but to get this moment and go and celebrate in front of my family is unreal".

"I remember someone saying "you can be the world champion again" and I didn't feel awkward about that".

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After injury denied Pearson of the opportunity to defend her Olympic crown a year ago in Rio, she chose to coach herself. Pearson and 400m hurdler Jana Pittman are the only two Australian track and field athletes to have won individual world golds.

"I never doubted it, she knows her body".

Back in London, and back fit and firing, Pearson flew out of the blocks and held off Dawn Harper-Nelson to take the title.

"The biggest thing for Sally was to come out, get through the heats, she was a little bit nervous that first day, and by her own standard she wanted to run a little bit quicker, that "third fastest isn't good enough attitude" and then in the semi-final she just made a statement and it was like, don't change anything, just repeat what you have done".

Once Pearson arrived at the pre-championships training camp in Tonbridge she handed responsibility for the final stage of her buildup to Australian head coach Craig Hilliard and team coach Matt Beckenham. I don't know what to say, that was just incredible.

"I can not believe it, it's insane", said Dutkiewicz.

"They're the ones I have to thank tonight because I don't think I would be here without them".

Sally Pearson storms to 100m hurdles victory